Beat reporter Bob Condotta takes a post-minicamp look at what the Seahawks' final 53-man roster could look like heading into the regular season.
So how would the Seahawks’ first 53-man roster of the season look if the season started today?
Glad you asked.
Here is my initial projection of what the Seahawks’ roster could look like for the season opener against Miami on Sept. 11.
This is based on the current 90-man roster. There will be other moves that impact the final roster. But for now, this is how I see it:
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KEEP: Russell Wilson, Trevone Boykin.
CUT: Jake Heaps.
COMMENT: The big question is whether the Seahawks re-sign veteran Tarvaris Jackson or if they will be comfortable with undrafted rookie free agent Boykin as the backup, banking again on Wilson’s amazing durability. Heaps will hope to get some preseason action to maybe earn a practice-squad call-back.
KEEP: Thomas Rawls, Alex Collins, C.J. Prosise, Christine Michael, Brandon Cottom.
CUT: Zac Brooks, Tre Madden, Tani Tupou.
COMMENT: For now, I’ll go with the Seahawks’ optimism that Rawls will be ready for the opener. Collins could earn the backup spot, and Prosise figures to carve out a niche as the third-down back. I’m giving Michael a slight nod as a fourth tailback ahead of Brooks, figuring the Seahawks might not want to have nothing but rookies behind Rawls. Cottom is listed as a tight end but has played fullback, and at 262 pounds he offers size and receiving ability. I’m going with just one fullback instead of the two Seattle carried last season, which allows for an extra tailback. Madden has been impressive, though, and that figures to be a good battle to watch. The Seahawks likely would keep Brooks around on the practice squad.
KEEP: Doug Baldwin, Tyler Lockett, Jermaine Kearse, Paul Richardson, Kasen Williams, Douglas McNeil.
CUT: Kevin Smith, Kenny Lawler, Deshon Foxx, Tyler Slavin, Antwan Goodley,
COMMENT: The first four spots are locks (assuming Richardson is healthy). Williams has had a nice offseason and seems to have an upper hand on the rest of the pack. For the final spot I’m going with a surprise in McNeil. But at 6 feet 3 he would be the tallest receiver on the roster, and having spent time at cornerback he likely would be solid on special teams. The team likes the potential of Lawler, but he might need a year to build up physically.
KEEP: Jimmy Graham, Luke Willson, Nick Vannett.
CUT: Cooper Helfet, Brandon Williams, Ronnie Shields.
COMMENT: As with Rawls, I’ll go with the team’s optimism that Graham will be ready for the opener. Vannett seems a lock at this point after showing more-polished receiving skills than the team anticipated. A player to watch is Williams, an Oregon grad who received some unsolicited praise from coach Pete Carroll after the end of minicamp.
KEEP: Garry Gilliam, Mark Glowinski, Justin Britt, Germain Ifedi, J’Marcus Webb, Bradley Sowell, Rees Odhiambo, Joey Hunt, Patrick Lewis.
CUT: Terry Poole, Kona Schwenke, Lene Maiava, Kristjan Sokoli, Will Pericak, George Fant.
COMMENT: The first seven listed above seem like locks. Coaches also seem to like Hunt, and at this point they might be concerned about getting him back on the practice squad if he is released. That would leave one more spot if the Seahawks keep their usual nine offensive linemen. Lewis is due to make $1.6 million this season, and if the Seahawks are comfortable with Hunt as the backup center (and comfortable with Britt as the starting center) releasing him could save a little money, especially if Sokoli shows he can handle guard and center. But Lewis is the only player on the team who has played an NFL game at center, and he can back up most spots along the line.
KEEP: Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril, Frank Clark, Quinton Jefferson, Jarran Reed, Ahtyba Rubin, Jordan Hill, Sealver Siliga, Chris Clemons.
CUT: Ryan Robinson, David Perkins, Montese Overton, Justin Hamilton, DeAngelo Tyson, Tavaris Barnes, Brandin Bryant.
COMMENT: The biggest question here might be Clemons and whether he shows enough to hold off some of the younger players, notably Robinson. Reed, Rubin, Hill and Siliga appear set as the four interior linemen, with Bennett also able to move inside. It appears Jefferson might play more as a Bennett-style end role. Avril, Clark and Clemons (or possibly Robinson) would be the rush ends with Cassius Marsh, who I have at linebacker for this exercise.
KEEP: Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright, Mike Morgan, Brock Coyle, Cassius Marsh, Kevin Pierre-Louis, Eric Pinkins.
CUT: Pete Robertson, Steve Longa, Khairi Fortt, Kyle Coleman.
COMMENT: As of now,Wagner (MLB), Wright (WLB) and Morgan (SLB) would be the three starters. Coyle and Pierre-Louis are in line to again be the backups at MLB and WLB, respectively, with Pierre-Louis also playing some SLB. Marsh is being used some at SLB and rush end and that versatility could keep him on the roster. Pinkins is also in the mix at SLB and came on as a special-teams player last year.
KEEP: Richard Sherman, Jeremy Lane, Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Deshawn Shead, Tharold Simon, Kelcie McCray, Brandon Browner, Marcus Burley.
CUT: DeAndre Elliott, Tye Smith, Stanley Jean-Baptiste, Trovon Reed, Tanner McEvoy, Tyvis Powell, George Farmer, Steven Terrell.
COMMENT: All of the cut players above are recent undrafted-rookie, free-agent signees or street-free-agent signees other than Smith, a fifth-round draft pick last season, and Terrell. Using Browner at safety gives the team four safeties, with Shead able to play corner and safety. Smith might have to beat out Simon to stay on the roster. But if healthy, Simon’s size and performance in brief stints in 2014 would keep him on the roster. Burley makes it as a second nickel.
KEEP: Kicker Steven Hauschka, punter Jon Ryan, long snapper Drew Ferris.
COMMENT: There’s no competition at any special-teams spots. The Seahawks will want to see Ferris prove he can handle the job under the pressure of a game, though.